Apartment hunting


We’ll be leaving our current apartment when our lease is up in April. We (mostly) love our place, but we do not love Jason’s two hour a day commute time. So we’re looking for a new apartment farther south, closer to his job.


We’ve been looking at apartments this month to get a jump start on the process. Last time we moved, it was incredibly stressful and we sure don’t want to go through that mess again! It’s a lot more fun this time around. We like pretending we’re on House Hunters.

Here’s what we’re looking for-
Close to work
2 bedroom (though if the price is right, we’d love a 3)
2 toilets
washer/ dryer
decent sized pool (for laps) and gym
green space for the Little Man to run around


The last place has been a sticking point for us because the area we’re looking in doesn’t have a lot of open spaces like our current place. Ideally we’d love something similar to what we have, but that seems like a near impossibility, so we’d settle for something with a park close by.


So far we’ve looked at six places. Jason is pretty sold on one, but I’m halfway in love with a different one. We have a bit more research to do, but we’ll probably have a decision soon. Pretty exciting!

Some recent layouts

Here are some pages I’ve made recently. I’ve been on a crazy page making spree lately and having so much fun being inspired by my Un-Challenge Challenge last month. I have also done a few challenge LO’s for SBB already this month, so I’m just going to lump them all together. My Projects folder is getting out of hand again, so I want to move them all to my EHD. And I’m excited to add more pages to my Summer Pages page.

First up are several pages I made for Mandy’s DSD Grab Bag called Beautiful Blessings. I fell madly in love with this kit and could not stop making pages. (And FYI, you can still get this HUGE grab bag for only $5)

Beautiful blessings kit by Mandy King Architect's Daughter font

Journaling reads- I feel so grateful, not only to have had these wonderful adventures with you, but to have a hobby that allows me to relive them on a regular basis. I am the luckiest of women.

(I know… super sappy…. I was in a mood :P)

Beautiful Blessings kit and Word Art by Mandy King

Grandma Z
Journaling reads- Taking pictures in Grandma Z’s yard.

Beautiful Blessings by Mandy King Architect's Daughter font

My Flower
Journaling reads- Jason picked up this flower for me at a rest stop on our way through Maryland

Back together web

Back Together
Journaling reads- Not the best photo, but what do you expect from an airport parking lot?

(I need to change that to “parking garage)

Inspired papers and journaling cards by Mandy King
Chunk Five and Architect’s Daughter font

I made the next three for challenges at SBB this month. It’s really nice to be inspired by challenges again. I think I needed that break.

Plans Change web

Plans Change
Journaling reads- In early 2011, we were all set to buy the townhouse we were living in. We had been renting it for years and our landlord was giving us a great deal. Then all of a sudden we were told that he had received a better offer from someone else. We went from “We’re buying a house” to “We have a week and a half to pack up everything and find a new place to live”. At the time it was incredibly stressful. We were pretty devastated, but we did what we had to do. We worked as a team to find a new home and move. Our new apartment is in a better neighborhood and we’ve made a wonderful home for ourselves here. It’s the first place we’ve lived that I felt like was truly “ours”. Having the sale fall through was definitely a blessing in disguise!

On the Move by Blue Heart Scraps

Creative Me by Simple Girl Scraps

How It All Began
Journaling reads- I was never a paper scrapbooker. Scissors and glue intimidate me. I’ve never considered myself to be a particularly creative person, but when my sister began designing chat icons, I started playing around in Photoshop to keep her company. While researching tutorials for photo manipulations, I discovered this thing called digital scrapbooking. I was totally hooked! Finally, something fun to do with all those photos my husband insisted on taking! I joined a wonderful forum called Scrappity Doo Dah, found some friends, joined some challenges, and the rest is history. A few hundred layouts later, I’m still madly in love with this hobby.

Credits: Creative Me by Simple Girl Scraps

Teen Life by Word Art World template by Seatrout Scraps

Reflecting Pool Shenanigans

Credits: Teen Life by Word Art World
template by Seatrout Scraps

And here are two more pages from a couple of months ago that I forgot to post.

Pinstriped by Inspired by Dominic Architect's Daughter font

Journaling reads- The guys went to sit down and rest once we got to the Capitol. I was so glad I got to snap a few pictures of them together.

Pinstriped by Inspired by Dominic
Architect’s Daughter font

yorktown web

USS Yorktown
Credits: Capture Life: Spring by Crisdam
Keep Calm by Word Art World
Springtime by Connie Prince
Based on Sketch 22 by Shimelle

I thought for sure I’d shared that last one before. I made it back in June!

Whew that was a lot of LO’s. That gives you a little taste of the complete randomness of my pages. I’m concentrating on summer pages, but I love throwing in other kinds of pages too. It’s all good, it all counts 🙂

30 Days of Lists- Day 8

Today’s prompt is-

Out My Front Door

playground | sand | palm trees | non-palm trees | dead basil | stairs | shade

which is so very different than the front door of our last place

parking lot | swimming pool | sidewalk | weeds | hibiscus | cars | lots of sun

List made 9.4.12

Curious about 30 Days of Lists? Check them out here. See all my lists (so far) here.

Week in the Life: Thursday

New verse, same as the first.

Having a hard time thinking of what to get pictures of in the mornings. It doesn’t help that I have been nodding back off when Jason gets up. Will work on that tomorrow. Got up, made lunch, flirted with Jason, watched the news. I neglected him a bit last night so will give him extra loving’ today. 🙂

I’ve been keeping little notes on current news stories this week, so I can add that into whatever I end up doing with all this week’s documentation.

Jason left for work and I had breakfast. Worked on blog post while listening to PRT. I have now listened to every episode twice. Not sure what I’ll start on next. Maybe relisten to the Digi Show or catch up on my tech podcasts. Or a book. I’ve wanted to start the audiobook of the Hunger Games, but I want to wait until I can read it along with my sister.

Wasted a couple of hours on Pinterest and blogs.

Took a shower. IM’ed with Jason. Had some lunch. Cleaned the fridge.  Wrote another blog post and looked at blogs a little.  Brushed MK.

Jason came home in a lot of pain. I made pasta and tomato sauce  with mushrooms and garlic bread. We watched some TV. News, trashy entertainment TV, Community, and the live episode of 30 Rock. I cleaned up the kitchen and we went to bed. Very nice night, other than Jason hurting.

Project notes-
Thursday was an incredibly unproductive day. I think unproductive days are ok every once in a while and they usually end up making me super productive the next day. I didn’t do a ton of documentation. I’m not burned out per se, just don’t have a direction. I saw on Ali’s blog that she’s taking a lot of house pictures, so I might try that today (Friday). I’m sure the next time WITL rolls around, the house will be very different.
Jason mentioned something about whether or not a particular thing was “wilt-worthy”, which was hilarious. I love that he gets on board with all my scrapbooking/ memory keeping/ etc. It’s awesome to have a supportive partner. I’m hoping to be able to add a little more of his voice into this project.
I think this has been a great exercise in getting me to write more.
It’s super neat to read other people’s wilt adventures. It really shows so many people in different stages of their lives, single, married, kids, no kids, first babies, or a housefull of children. I think one thing that has struck me in particular is that there are so many women with husbands or partners who are away, on business or in the military. But they are managing their homes and families. I’m so very grateful that my husband comes home every night. I honestly don’t see how they do it. We were in a long distance relationship for almost a year before we got married and that was plenty! Which doesn’t really have anything to do with witl, so moving on…

16 photos taken (really?? is that all???)
4 Momento notes
1 satisfied wife
1 pained husband
1 wakeful kitty
3 more days… home stretch!

Week in the Life: Wednesday

I’m keeping up! I almost can’t believe it. I’m not going to say this too loudly but… I might actually finish this. 🙂

Rinse and repeat.

Got up after the first decent night of sleep in days. Packed lunch, watched news, Jason left for work.

Raisin bran, flipboard, and settled in to work on yesterday’s witl post. Wow I’ve had a bunch of views on my little blog. Almost all from linking up on Ali’s blog. So hi new people 🙂 Thanks so much for taking a look!

I got down on the floor to play and love on Miss Kitty. We’ve been a bit distant for a couple of days after the traumatic cat carrier incident.

When she got bored with me, I got up and started some cleaning. Laundry, vacuuming, and cleaning the bathroom.

It hit me last night that we only have about 7 more weeks until we go pick up Little Man so I need to really get after his room. It has been the holding area for all of our boxes of stuff since we moved in. Jason set up the bed last weekend and shifted some boxes so it looks a little less like a Hoarders episode. But still a LOT to do. Which I have a feeling that a lot of the stuff in boxes is going to goodwill. If we haven’t needed it in the past 2.5 weeks, we might not really need it.

I emptied out a box of stuff that mostly went into the shed. SO happy we have outside storage space now. I hung up some pictures in the kitchen. I don’t remember ever being this excited for decorating before. It’s actually fun unpacking and figuring out where to put things.

Had lunch, IM’ed with my sister and jason, and more Flipboard. Can you tell that’s my current obsession? I check it at least 10 times a day right now.Showered and put away laundry. Checked my challenges on SDD. Worked in my flylady zone for this week, the bedroom. Dusting and putting away things that don’t belong. I think I’ve done more in my zones since we moved than I did all last year. Want to keep things nice 🙂

Jason came home and we headed to the grocery store. We usually go on Sunday or Monday, but with one thing and another we kept putting it off.

We got home and I put some junky food in the oven. (Jamaican patties and pigs in a blanket). We watched a little tv and I moved my laptop over to the couch do I could do the Speed Scrap at SDD. We ate and watched a new Betty White show and some other sitcom that didn’t make much of an impression. I did my speed scrap. It’s always nice scrapping and chatting even when there are just a few of us. Jason had fallen asleep on the couch so I woke him up and we went to bed.

Project notes-
I feel like I’m sort of settling in with this. I’m continuing to use Momento to keep notes. Photo count is down a little, but I was expecting that to happen. I think the doing P365 for the past year and a half has done a lot to help me think of things I want to photograph. I already took a lot of everyday photos, so I knew the biggest challenge would be the documentation part. I’ve found that I’ve gone from writing notes every hour on monday to doing it every 3 or 4 hours yesterday. I might be losing some details, but I think I’m getting a good summary. Most of this post was copied and pasted straight from Momento again. One other somewhat surprising thing is that I’m not really using instagram at all. I usually take a lot of instagram pictures, but I don’t think I’ve taken any this week. Which is okay, but I might do some of those today. (I’m hclappy if anyone wants to follow me)

Day 3 stats:
36 photos taken
4 Momento notes
1 tweet
2 Foursquare check-ins
1 distracted wife
1 on the mend husband
1 playful kitty
4 more days to go

Monday Awesomeness

Kind of like High Five for Friday… only on Monday.

1. Week in the Life. Yeah I’m doing it. I’ve attempted it a couple of times, but never with an end result in mind. Now that I found the amazing book that Nettio made last year, I’m super excited to get started today. Curious about WITL? Learn all about it on the Ali Edwards project page.

2. Jason’s new bluetooth car thingy. Jason got the Motorolla Roadster 2 for his birthday and is really enjoying listening to it on his commute.

3. Pillows from Target. I have never in my life bought decorative pillows until I saw these. And fell in love with their sappy beige-y prettiness. Unfortunately I couldn’t find them on the Target website to link.

4. This awesome Family Photo Collage from Bed Bath and Beyond. We got this last week and I’m SO excited to put it up!

5. Swimming. We went swimming for the first time in months. It was great getting in the water again. Jason is pretty insistent that I learn to doggy paddle. For some reason I feel more comfortable with swimming with my head underwater and I’ve never learned to do anything above the water. I think I’m backwards. So he’s been trying to get me to do the doggy paddle thing and I’ve been somewhat resistant. Conversations go something like this-

Me: But I look stupid! *flailing around, kicking my legs and wagging my arms in an incredibly uncoordinated way*
Jason: You don’t look stupid. Stop trying to look cool. You really won’t look cool if you drown. Cool people can goggie paddle.

So in my continuing efforts to be one of the “cool” people, I kept trying. And I flailed myself all the way to the 6 ft. deep end! Twice! Well once and a half. I kind of panicked a little the second time. But still, progress!

What’s your style?

I came across this link on Katie the Scrapbook Lady’s blog. It’s supposed to help you find your decorating style. Since Jason and I are in negotiations about how to set up the new place, this is super timely. I don’t think it really captured my style. I’m not exactly sure what “my style” is anyway. (That board on Pinterest looks pretty barren).

Here is what BH&G thinks is my style…

Country French 

You are drawn to a rustic but refined style that feels comfortable and livable for today’s families. Your version of Country French style may be rustic (think glazed pottery and chunky woven baskets) or more refined (think gilded details). Either way, patterned fabrics such as toile, stripes, and fleur-de-lis motifs will help you set the tone. Incorporate details such as stucco walls, wrought-iron accents, and furniture with carved details for an old-world look.
I’m not sure that really covers it. I think Katie’s might actually be closer to the mark.

Polished Casual

You love to mix and match your favorites from several styles, so Polished Casual is the best way to describe your look. Crisp, fresh, and always comfortable, this approach anchors itself in neutral, subtle hues and furniture that isn’t fussy but isn’t slouchy either. Pair your clean-lined sofa with a dark leather wing chair or a weathered metal table—anything goes, but simplicity is key.

I think this is more right on. For both me and Jason actually. When we got together, we weren’t exactly opposites in our tastes, but close. Now we’re meeting more in the middle. I am embracing his more minimalistic approach, he is finding out that black is not the only neutral (Hello Grey Side!) He is showing me that everything in the house doesn’t have to red or blue, I’m showing him that color is ok… in small doses.
It’s funny how we have meshed our tastes over the years. Not giving up what we like as individuals, but learning to appreciate why we like the things we do. It helps that I speak up now. It helps that he listens. It’s a nice place that we’re in now, decoratively speaking.


I saw this post on Becky Higgoins’ blog and I got the urge to write this down Right Now. With everything that’s happened the past month, I’ve been a bit too busy living life, and not so much with the documenting feelings and such. So here goes…

I was going to sleep in a little today, but need to be up and dressed for the maintenance man’s visit.

I am hearing strange noises from outside. Maybe downstairs neighbors? So odd having downstairs neighbors…

I think I need to find my Eat Clean Diet book today… also my nail clippers and 124 other vitally important things.

I wonder where my pots and pans are.

I wish my new home didn’t smell like Petco.

I save every random bit of paper, including Jason’s farewell luncheon receipt from yesterday.

I always miss Jason a bit during the day, but especially this week.

I can’t imagine what that strange noise is… sounds like Miss Kitty coughing up a hairball but I know it’s not.

I believe I will get things unpacked and put away… eventually…

I promise that next week will be the long-awaited Jason Is Great Week featuring lots of tasty food, swimming, and other fun things.

I love having the first semi-normal evening last night in weeks. We took a short walk, sprawled on the bed reading mail, talked, ate, watched TV, and then I did the Speed Scrap at SDD. Normal. No life altering decisions to be made. No carrying heavy things up flights of stairs. Awesome night 🙂

Thoughts on Home

After looking at the apartments one more time Saturday we are feeling so much better. We are solidifying plans and moving forward. This road is bumpy sometimes and I need to be more aware of the extraordinary amount of stress that Jason is under. It’s my turn to be his rock now and it’s hard for both of us to be going through such extreme changes in such a short time. We are creatures of habit. Though we love travel and adventure, we also love having our home base. We need that. And now that sense of comfort is being threatened and we just need to regroup.
But we have each other and that’s the most important thing. Home is where we are together. Wherever that is. Whatever else is going on outside. Home is our retreat. Home is what we make it.